[240 Crescent St., Northampton, Mass.]

T. S.Eliot
The Criterion
21 January 1937
My dearest,

YourWare, Mary Leedies of second stroke;c6 letter of January 12th came yesterday, together with one from Mrs. Perkins, and I write to express my sympathy in your loss.1 I had come to understand, of course, that your relations with Miss Ware were in some ways more intimate than with any other older person. So I know it is a very real loss indeed, and that no one can take her place. I realise more fully the strain that you must have been under, and I pray that God will give you the strength you need. INoyes, Penelope Barker;d8 am glad that you have been at Penelope’s and that she has been making you behave sensibly. My dear, I wish that I could have been on hand at this time to try to help you as is only possible when one word can be immediately responded to by another.

I have had a rehearsal for my next BBC talks, and hope to get a good start on my essay over this weekend. MarthaEliot, Dr Martha May (TSE's cousin);a4 EliotDunham, Dr Ethel Collins;a2 is to be in town with her friend Ethel Dunham, and I have asked them to lunch on Saturday. She seems to be here entirely on business, and to be very busy indeed. AndBrowne, Elliott Martinwhich TSE thinks Giottoesque;b5 Martin Browne to lunch on Sunday, to discuss the future of the play, which is to go on tour soon. MartinMercury Theatre, LondonMartin Browne's York Nativity Play;b5 produced a very good version of the York Nativity Play at the Mercury, which I saw a few days ago, but think I didn’t mention. It was perhaps a little too consciously made to look like a Giotto, in staging design and colour, but on the whole was very well done. AndHutchinson, Maryaccompanies TSE to Olivier's Hamlet;c1 nightShakespeare, WilliamHamlet;b6 beforeOld Vic, TheOlivier's (complete) Hamlet;a8 lastOlivier, Laurenceas Hamlet;a1 Mary Hutchinson – whom I had not seen for six months – took me to the complete Hamlet (Lawrence Olivier 2) at the Old Vic: it began at 7, and didn’t end till 11.20! and we had to have some supper afterwards, so I was pretty late. But the play is worth it – I did not know how much better it is when it is not cut at all – there is one scene in particular, the passage of Fortinbras through Denmark, which is magnificently effective. Olivier is good – better than I should have expected, after his Romeo – except in the big soliloquies, which he overacts terribly. He has that trick of flopping on the floor and writhing about, which is not seemly for Hamlet.

My dear, I know that you will still have the strength to get through this term of teaching beautifully well.

With all my love and sympathy
Emilie, from her Tom.

I suppose you will reach Plymouth on the 21st? or 22 nd? How long does the Aquitania take.

1.Mary Lee Ware had succumbed to a second stroke on 9 Jan., aged 79.

2.LaurenceOlivier, Laurence Olivier (1907–89), English actor and director; many of his most notable successes in the 1930s and 1940s were in Shakespearian roles.

Browne, Elliott Martin, meets TSE at Chichester, production of The Rock, meets TSE over possible collaboration, talks over outline of play, meets TSE with Martin Shaw, delighted with Rock choruses, discusses unwritten pageant scenes with TSE, predicament as The Rock's director, well connected in amateur circles, revising into the night with TSE, argues with Shaw at dress-rehearsal, presented to Prince Arthur, honoured by Rock cast-supper, producing Gordon Bottomley's play, speaks at Londonderry House with TSE, 1935 Canterbury Murder in the Cathedral, approached by TSE to 'produce', consulted throughout composition, goes silent, lunches with TSE and Speaight, directs and acts despite illness, pursues London Murder revival, 1935–6 Mercury Theatre Murder revival, engaged as producer by Dukes, keen that EH attend rehearsals, simultaneously part of BBC production, agrees about Speaight's decline, preferred as producer for TSE's next play, and Charles Williams's Cranmer, in which he plays 'the Skeleton', and TSE attend Tenebrae, taken to Cambridge after-feast, producing York Nativity Play, which TSE thinks Giottoesque, at Savile Club Murder dinner, producing Shakespeare's Dream, and Ascent of F6, and Tewkesbury Festival Murder confusion, 1939 production of The Family Reunion, due to be sent script, weighing TSE's proposal that he produce, enthused by script, suggests TSE see Mourning Becomes Electra, against Family Reunion as title, pleased with draft, quizzed on fire-safety, typescript prepared for, new draft submitted to, rewrite waits on, receives new draft, criticisms thereof, reports John Gielgud interest, mediates between Gielgud and TSE, TSE throws over Gielgud for, secures Westminster Theatre production, steps into company breach, then into still-greater breach, and the play's weaknesses, direction of Family Reunion, receives TSE's Shakespeare lectures, 1938 American Murder tour, re-rehearsing actors for, suffers fit of pre-tour gloom, yet to report from Boston, and Tewkesbury pageant, accompanies TSE to La Mandragola, on Family Reunion's future prospects, and possible Orson Welles interest, war leaves at loose end, advises TSE over next play, war work with Pilgrim Players, unavailable for modern-dress Murder, compared to tempter/knight successor, requests Pilgrim Players' play from TSE, New Plays by Poets series, as director, and This Way to the Tomb, and Family Reunion revival, urges TSE to concentrate on theatre, 1946 Mercury Family Reunion revival, in rehearsal, possible revue for Mercury Theatre, and The Lady's Not for Burning, Chairman of the Drama League, 1949 Edinburgh Cocktail Party, to produce, TSE's intended first reader for, receives beginning, approves first act, receives TSE's revisions, communciates Alec Guinness's enthusiasm, arranges reading, surpasses himself with production, in Florence, EH suggests moving on from, and the Poets' Theatre Guild, 1950 Cocktail Party New York transfer, compares Rex Harrison and Alec Guinness, TSE debates whether to continue collaboration with, suggests three-play TSE repertory, 1953 Edinburgh Confidential Clerk, receives first two acts, designing sets, 1953 Lyric Theatre Confidential Clerk, attends with TSE, 1954 American Confidential Clerk, 1954 touring Confidential Clerk, TSE and Martin Browne catch in Golders Green, seeks Family Reunion MS from EH,

4.E. MartinBrowne, Elliott Martin Browne (1900–80), English director and producer, was to direct the first production of Murder in the Cathedral: see Biographical Register.

Dunham, Dr Ethel Collins,

2.DrDunham, Dr Ethel Collins Ethel Collins Dunham (1883–1969) – Martha Eliot’s life partner (they met at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine) – specialised in the welfare of newborn and premature babies; from 1927, Associate Clinical Professor at the Yale School of Medicine. In 1935 she was to be appointed Head of Child Development at the Children’s Bureau, where she pursued numerous initiatives. In 1949–51 she worked on the problem of premature birth at the World Health Organization in Geneva. In 1957 she was the first woman to receive the John Howland Award of the American Pediatric Society: Martha May Eliot received the award in 1967.

Eliot, Dr Martha May (TSE's cousin), superior to brother, sent to England on commission, returns to America, TSE's favourite cousin, shares prognosis on Henry's leukaemia,

1.DrEliot, Dr Martha May (TSE's cousin) Martha May Eliot (1891–1978), pediatrician: see Biographical Register.

Hutchinson, Mary, her friendship compared to OM's, quondam admirer of TSE, enlisted to prevail on VHE, talks theatre and VHE, accompanies TSE to Dance of Death, at TSE's Ritz theatre tea-party, offers EH lunch before rehearsal, takes TSE to see Francis Birrell, issues Irish introductions to TSE, grumbles at Sadler's Wells meeting, on Eyeless in Gaza, accompanies TSE to Olivier's Hamlet, to I Have Been Here Before, to Mourning Becomes Electra, to Three Sisters, her company, accompanies TSE to Duchess of Malfi,

3.MaryHutchinson, Mary Hutchinson (1889–1977), literary hostess and author: see Biographical Register.

Mercury Theatre, London, Yeats proposes season at, from the outside, possible Murder premiere at, season in financial straits, stage too small for Doone, to stage Murder revival, rehearsal at, Murder coming off at, hard to imagine Murder beyond, Dukes proposes new Mercury Theatre, Martin Browne's York Nativity Play, presents The Ascent of F6, Murder in re-rehearsal at, possible venue for Family Reunion, Dukes's La Mandragola, new Murder revival at, attempts season of miniature operas, 'initimate opera' at, its French equivalent, hosts New Plays by Poets, and 1946 Family Reunion revival, Martin Browne's proposal to stage revue at, presents Saroyan play, graced with royal visit, staging Playboy of the Western World, possible destination for Cocktail Party,
Noyes, Penelope Barker, shows TSE familiar snapshot of EH, present when TSE fell for EH, in London, browner and thinner, intellectually inferior to Margaret Thorp, mentions EH to TSE, and the Folk Lore Society, at first Norton lecture, reports favourably of Dear Jane, TSE on, laments TSE's returning to VHE, hosts Eleanor, TSE and most boring woman ever, VHE cables for TSE's whereabouts, offers EH employment, EH's Cataumet summer holiday with, hosts party, potential host for Murder cast, sartorially speaking, and her father, EH visits, sails for England, distorted by wealth, TSE's dinner at the Connaught with,
see also Noyeses, the

12.PenelopeNoyes, Penelope Barker Barker Noyes (1891–1977), who was descended from settlers of the Plymouth Colony, lived in a historic colonial house (built in 1894 for her father James Atkins Noyes) at 1 Highland Street, Cambridge, MA. Unitarian. She was a close friend of EH.

Old Vic, The, relationship to Sadler's Wells, presents Laughton's Macbeth, presents Othello, presents Henry IV, Part II, presents The Witch of Edmonton, Olivier's (complete) Hamlet, presents Murder, Guthrie's Measure for Measure, Emlyn Williams's Richard III, Alec Guinness's Hamlet, considers Family Reunion, presents Midsummer Night's Dream, TSE's fellow air-warden involved with, Hamlet starring Robert Helpmann at, engages Martin Browne to produce Coriolanus, Wolfit's Tamburlaine, wants to revive Murder, to produce The Confidential Clerk,
Olivier, Laurence, as Hamlet, considered for Family Reunion,
see also Oliviers, the

2.LaurenceOlivier, Laurence Olivier (1907–89), English actor and director; many of his most notable successes in the 1930s and 1940s were in Shakespearian roles.

Shakespeare, William, Bunny Wilson and TSE discuss, writing Murder increases TSE's admiration for, but equally wariness of, spiritually 'helpful', preferable in modern dress, EH imagined as Lady Macbeth, later as Hermione, All's Well that Ends Well, Antony and Cleopatra, As You Like It, Coriolanus, Cymbeline, Hamlet, Henry VIII, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Measure for Measure, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, Richard II, Richard III, 'Sonnet CXXXII', The Tempest, Timon of Athens, Troilus and Cressida, Twelfth Night, The Winter's Tale,
Ware, Mary Lee, in TSE's recollection, confidant of EH, at West Rindge, travels to Italy, disparaged by TSE, for gilded unworldliness, but TSE repents of disparaging, possibly in Florence, TSE moderates his opinion of, antipathetic to TSE, visited at Rindge, TSE disclaims dislike for, TSE detained from visiting, suffers stroke, dies of second stroke, her will sent to TSE, EH sends memorial for, includes EH in will, and 'the vanished Rindge', her collection of glass flowers,

3.MaryWare, Mary Lee Lee Ware (1858–1937), independently wealthy Bostonian, friend and landlady of EH at 41 Brimmer Street: see Biographical Register.